In the year 2017, Eliud Kipchoge posted an impressive run of two hours and 25 seconds during the “Breaking 2” event hosted by Nike in Monza, Italy in 2017.
Nike had launched the ambitious program in November 2016, with a view to having the first man on earth to run below two hours, and organized a line up of three elite runners who trained for the private race.
The achievement was no mean feat, and though it was not officially clocked into the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF), it was a sign of greater things to come.
Kipchoge’s historic feat at the Monza circuit earned him an invite to one of the world’s greatest institutions, Oxford University, where he was to give a public address to the students concerning his achievements.
In the heavy-laden address, he narrated the journey he had taken to get to where he was, but before he was done, he made clear that the scientists’ stand on running 42 kilometres in less than two hours was that it was impossible in the near future.
“Scientists in the entire were busy in their labs running experiments, and they said that the first human beings to run for two hours or under would only do it after 2075. According to them, we still have 57 years before that happens, but I have proved them wrong,” he stated.
He further made it clear that his Monza run had put a dent to the perceptions that the researchers had put so much value in, in effect opening the floor for a different approach.
“I trust that they are still in their labs, but right now, they are thinking otherwise,” he concluded.
He narrated that with self-belief, he had done the unthinkable and that he was not ready to stop yet since he was yet to scale to the heights of his existence.
“If you believe what you are doing, then you will be successful,” he sagely informed the students.
On Saturday, October 12, Kipchoge finally proved himself right and sent the scientists back to the drawing board.
He became the first human to run a 42-kilometre race in under 2 hours (1:59:40).
Before the race, he had compared running the sub-two-hour marathon to going to the moon.
“I am running to make history, to show that no human is limited. It’s not about money, it’s about showing a generation of people that there are no limits,” Kipchoge had earlier stated.